Stocks quoted in this article:
Analysts are weighing in today on social networking site Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB - 31.54), offshore drilling concern Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG - 56.76), and restaurateur Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG - 303.48). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.
- FB is kicking off a big week with an upbeat analyst note. Just three sessions before the company's earnings release, Raymond James upgraded the stock to "outperform" from "market perform." It's no surprise to find the brokerage bunch finally capitulating to the bullish camp, with the security outperforming the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by more than 35 percentage points during the past three months. However, there could be more optimistic analyst attention on the horizon. The equity's consensus 12-month price target of $33.50 represents expected upside of just 6% to FB's closing price of $31.54 on Friday, leaving the door wide open for upward price-target adjustments.
- Moving on, RIG scored a double dose of bullish brokerage action this morning. Specifically, RBC lifted its price target to $66 from $60 and reiterated its "outperform" recommendation, while Guggenheim upped its price target by $20 to $75 and revised its rating to "buy" from "neutral." Late Friday, activist investor Carl Icahn said he increased his stake in RIG to 5.6%, and encouraged the company to declare a dividend of at least $4 per share. If the board doesn't heed his advice, Icahn said he'll propose the dividend at Transocean's next annual meeting, where it can be adopted if the majority of shareholders approve. Ahead of the bell, the shares of RIG are pointed 2.6% higher.
- Finally, analysts at Lazard Capital upgraded CMG to "buy" from "neutral" and set a $388 price target -- a premium of 27.8% to the stock's closing price on Friday. The brokerage firm expects "a brightened economic backdrop" and "reinvigorated" same-store sales growth for CMG in 2013, and lifted its earnings-per-share estimates for the restaurant chain. However, most of the Street remains skeptical, with just five out of 22 analysts offering up "buy" or better endorsements. Meanwhile, 11.7% of the stock's float is sold short, representing nearly seven sessions' worth of pent-up buying demand, at CMG's average pace of trading.